Dennis Edwards, former frontman with the Temptations, was reportedly abused by his wife as he lay bedridden in the time leading up to his death, court papers allege. He died in Chicago on Feb. 1 as a result of complications from meningitis, two days before his 75th birthday.

The Healthcare Consortium of Illinois filed a protection order on Jan. 12, saying they were doing so at Edwards’ own request. The documents contained claims by the singer that his wife, Brenda Edwards, had tried to suffocate him by pushing his face into a bed, while the investigator associated with the case claimed that she had removed her husband’s hearing aids while he was “bed bound and immobile.”

The protection order was granted on Jan. 18, forbidding Brenda from making any form of contact with her husband, who had been removed from the family home to the hospital for medical reasons on Jan 13. Brenda was set to appear before a court to defend her position, but after Edwards’ death, it was canceled. The Chicago Police Department confirmed to the St Louis Post-Dispatch that a criminal investigation into the matter remained open.

“I loved Dennis, and we were married for 18 years,” Brenda said in a statement. “I would never have done anything to harm him. These allegations are false and defamatory and will be proven as such. Until this is all over, I have no further comment.”

The singer – best known for singing the Temptations hits “Papa Was a Rollin’ Stone,” “Ball of Confusion” and “I Can’t Get Next to You.” – left five daughters, a son and a number of grandchildren.